February 28th, 2009
04:56 PM ET
5 years ago

Romney wins conservative straw poll

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the straw poll for the third year in a row.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the straw poll for the third year in a row.

(CNN) - One day after delivering a forceful campaign-style speech to the conference of conservative activists, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won his third straight CPAC Straw Poll on Saturday, earning 20 percent of the vote on a ballot that included nine other Republicans who could seek the party’s presidential nomination in 2012.

Romney’s straw poll win at the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference helped to elevate Romney from a little-known governor to a bona fide presidential frontrunner, and his narrow victory in last year’s straw poll reaffirmed his support among conservative voters. But Romney failed to win the Republican nomination, which was eventually won by Arizona Sen. John McCain.

In the 2009 poll, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal came in second with 14 percent of the vote, while Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Texas Rep. Ron Paul tied at 13 percent. Jindal and Palin did not attend the conference.

Rounding out the straw poll results were former House speaker Newt Gingrich at 10 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at seven percent, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford at four percent, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani at three percent, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at two percent, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist at one percent. Nine percent of poll participants were undecided.

The straw poll was conducted over two days and surveyed 1,757 of the party activists who descended on Washington for the annual conference. More than half of the conference attendees this year were college students, and nearly 60 percent of the straw poll participants were between the ages of 18 and 25.


Filed under: Mitt Romney • Republican Party
soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Marsha

    ha, ha, ha, ha ,ha ,ha if this is all they have...why didn't he do better in the primaries????

    February 28, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Pat Mack

    WHY, WHY, WHY...do you broadcast Rush Limbaugh nationally
    criticizing our president? This man is a disgrace to our country
    and should be abolished from our society. He is by far the
    biggest detriment to our country and the world.

    SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on CNN for nationally broadcasting
    his lies and detrimentality to us who elected Barack Obama
    to lead us out of the desparity that Rush Limbaugh and his kind put us into.

    I will do everything in my power to have CNN thrown off the airways
    because of the sinful broadcasting you are doing. Giving exposure
    to the criminals of our country...especially the biggest criminal...
    RUSH LIMBAUGH....I hate you for what you do!

    February 28, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. thomas

    Another Rush Windbag political sickfest.

    February 28, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. Los

    Romney's the only Republican that worries me in a potential match up vs Pres. Obama. Palin's too dumb, Huckabee's too religious, and the base will never go for Jindal. But Romney's a bonafide genius with extensive experience in economic matters. If the recovery goes awry, he could be seen by many as a viable alternative (not by me though, that (R) next to his name is a black mark).

    February 28, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Perusing-Through

    FINALLY, , , , THE REPUBLICANS DO SOMETHING CORRECTLY, SINCE THEIR LOST LAST NOVEMBER 4, 2008!

    If the GOP had NOT allowed Christian-Evangelicals to press them away from Mitt Romney during Republican Primaries (just because he was a Mormon), then the Republican Party may have captured the White House last November. Now let us see if the second time is the charm for Romney as it was for Reagan.

    February 28, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. 2010

    Bona fide? Romney lost the primary while spending millions of his own funds. Many people recognized his constantly changing positions shifted whichever way the political winds blew. Sorry, but I could not trust that in a candidate for president.

    February 28, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Tom in CA

    We're going down the wrong path again. Remember what happened to Senator McCain!

    We need to back either Ron Paul or Mike Huckabee. Anyone else will take the GOP down the wrong path, once again!

    February 28, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. P. D.

    Didn't Romney win last year too? Look how well that worked for him.

    February 28, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. Mike B

    What, no support for Sarah Palin?

    I thought the Grand Obstructionist Party was head over high-heels for her!

    February 28, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. Mike Dallas

    Good!

    Smooth sailing for the Dlems! Do you repubs never learn?

    What more embodies the very rich but Mittens??

    You are doing just fine.

    February 28, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Anna

    Oh dear, whatever happened to Palin ? Is her 15 minutes finally up ?

    February 28, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. redleg

    Apparently one should avoid military service (that "support and defend the Constitution" thing) by putting your own butt on the line is now a conservative value. Barry Goldwater would not be a 'conservative' today. He was too much of a real hero.

    February 28, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  13. IndyVoter

    I AM IN UTTER SHOCK AND DISGUST AT RUSH LIMBAUGH'S SPEECH AT THE CPAC!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS??? OMG! ...No, I take that back. I'm not shocked or surprised, but I am disgusted. Republicans, I have voted Republican before and consider myself politically independent.... but you have disgraced yourself and your party by letting him give the keynote address at this convention. If the bile that this man is spewing is what you believe in, I will NEVER vote Republican again...The death knell has tolled for thee and the reaper is coming. Au Revior.

    February 28, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. EVOLVE

    WHO CARES!!

    February 28, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. IndyVoter

    I AM IN UTTER SHOCK AND DISGUST AT RUSH LIMBAUGH'S SPEECH AT THE CPAC!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS??? OMG! ...No, I take that back. I'm not shocked or surprised, but I am disgusted. Republicans, I have voted Republican before and consider myself politically independent.... but you have disgraced yourself and your party by letting him give the keynote address at this convention. If the bile that this man is spewing is what you believe in, I will NEVER vote Republican again...The death knell has tolled for thee and the reaper is coming. Au Revior.

    February 28, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. jim carroll internetfreepress.com

    RUSH LIMBAUGH SPEAKS
    He is as incoherent as the Republican Party.
    He is the epitome of ignorance.
    He is a true reflection of Republican Philosophy.

    February 28, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. Ray Fisher

    I watched Limbaugh's key note address and it amazes me how the bull accumulates in that guy. Like all Republicans, he is in denial of the damage his party has inflicted upon America while shifting the blame to the President as he is attempting to make repairs. Yes, we all know it will take $trillions to fix this mess and that the President has asked for $trillions yet our President is not only cleaning after the previous administration but reclaiming the lost years of ideas, innovation and technological advances which have gone unexpolited for many years. America has really lost at least 10 years as the last two Clinton years were lost to his Lewinski matters!!! President Obama is attempting to recoup 10 lost years of American ingenuity and progress so at least have patience for a little while. We will thrive very soon regardless of the naysayers because America is saving for the future!!!

    February 28, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. Freed_From_W

    Ah, another guy from the GOP representing the working man with his disgusting amount of money and properties.

    Romney is a snake oil salesman to the very core.

    February 28, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  19. jeff in Atlanta

    Romney would be a great leader, so much better than that idiot who's in office now.

    And for once could one single democrat please tell me how much of a surplus there was when Bush took office before you spout out one more time that he inherited one? Just shows what idiots you really are that you can't think for yourselves or even look up a simple fact before repeating it as if it were the truth.

    No wonder we have an inexperienced dufus as president.

    February 28, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. Flyers4n

    Thankfully the GOP has remained bankrupt of any new ideas. Mitt is probably irrelevant as a candidate, as is Jindal.

    February 28, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Young men who hardly have hair on their chest and young women who are still trying to find themselves.True that politics cannot be left all to politicians alone, but manupilating majority of young minds is not in the best interest of great nations. It's like robbing the poor of the poorest. Maybe there should be a review on the electoral system.

    February 28, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. Zion

    How?

    February 28, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. Agent J

    Mitt Romney is fine and all, but if the Conservatives are going to (somehow) beat obama in 2012, id rather see Bobby Jindal in there. While I don't agree with many of his policies, he is a Rhode Scholar, so he is a smart guy, no matter how much he lies about his involvement in Katrina and postures on the spending bill. In that respect, he is much like McCain. Both are smart people when they aren't being fed lines by the GOP.

    February 28, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. Charles

    You Republicans so called front runners had better watch out, because Rush Limbaugh wants to be president of the United States. Today Limbaugh is givning his self professed first State of The Union Address. I was shocked that CNN would afford him a media outlet to give his state of the union address. I have already quit watching Fox Network and if CNN continues along this path, I will be forced to quit watching CNN.

    I would love to see democratic candidates chew up and spit out Limbaugh in presidential debates. If you have ever seen Limbaugh in a debate, you witnessed a pathetic and weak bebate. He is not a brilliant man and is effective only when there is not someone challenging him. Limbaugh is effective talking behind a person when that person is not there to defend himself or herself. Limbaugh is a COWARD.

    February 28, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. Break me off a piece of that!

    Speaking as a liberal, any of these guys would be ok with me. Obama will hand them their a*&^% in 2012. For sheer comedy relief, Mitt was hilarious in the 2008 race – second only to her royal moosiness Sarah Palin.

    God bless President Obama

    February 28, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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